The US should correct its 'wrong practices': China
The spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry says the US needs to be sincere after the Pentagon claimed China had turned down a meeting between the two nations’ defense chiefs in Singapore.
Washington can solve the communication breakdown between the US and Chinese military by paying attention to China's concerns, according to Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for Beijing's Foreign Ministry, on Tuesday. Her remarks came soon after the Pentagon alleged that China had declined a meeting between the defense leaders of the two countries in Singapore.
During a briefing, Mao noted that to Washington, it "is clear" why dialogue between the US and China has reached a standstill.
"The US side should earnestly respect China’s sovereignty, security and interest concerns, immediately correct its wrong practices," she said, advising Washington to "show sincerity" and create the needed conditions and atmosphere for dialogue.
"Overnight, the PRC informed the US that they have declined our early May invitation for Secretary Austin to meet with PRC Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu in Singapore," the Pentagon said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
Last week, White House Spokesperson John Kirby said the Defense Department was discussing starting talks between Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu who was appointed defense minister in March.
Austin and Li will be in Singapore for the annual Shangri-la Dialogue, which begins on Friday. The Shangri-la Dialogue is an informal gathering of defense officials and experts, and it also hosts a number of side sessions.
In the meantime, Liu Pengyu, the Chinese embassy spokesman in Washington, accused the US of "seeking to suppress China through all possible means" and putting sanctions on several entities and people.
China said last week it was concerned about US sanctions that the country had imposed on Li years ago over his alleged role in a Chinese arms purchase from Russia.
Liu's comments came after the Financial Times' sources reported that "it would be almost impossible" for China to agree to such high-level talks unless those restrictions were lifted.
It is worth noting that Washington recently sought to restore talks with top officials in China after relations soured in recent months, especially in light of the Chinese alleged spy balloon incident and Washington's increased militarization of countries surrounding China.
Tensions mounted again last month between the two countries after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met made a provocative visit to the US and met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, prompting China to condemn the talks and stage three days of military drills around Taiwan.